Non-court dispute resolution—client guide
Non-court dispute resolution—client guide

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Non-court dispute resolution—client guide
  • Mediation
  • How does it work?
  • Legal advice
  • Is it for me?
  • Collaborative law
  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • Arbitration
  • What is it?
  • more

This document provides general guidance regarding alternatives to court in family law matters including the requirement to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) prior to the issue of certain family proceedings. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.

There are three main alternatives to court when you are trying to work things out after separation:

  1. mediation

  2. collaborative law

  3. arbitration

Mediation

How does it work?

In mediation a trained mediator speaks to you and your former partner separately at first, then aims to get everyone round a table to talk about what arrangements will be made for the future. It can be used to work out financial matters or children’s schedules and any other practical decisions that need to be addressed. It is a process that focuses very much on the future, rather than the past.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process. In the meetings the mediator will guide you through discussions that help you both to explain what you want to happen and eventually to reach an agreement. If you don’t manage to agree everything, you can’t refer in court to discussions that you’ve had in mediation but financial information can be used in court.

Legal advice

While you